Press release: Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru - Merch yr Eog
Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru is delighted to announce the cast of the forthcoming tour of Merch yr Eog / Merc’h an Eog, a multilingual production that will be touring in Wales, England and Brittany during the autumn of 2016. Merch yr Eog is a co-production between Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru and Teatr Piba, Brittany, in partnership with Aberystwyth Arts Centre. Rehearsals will begin Monday 5th September at Aberystwyth Arts Centre.
Lleuwen Steffan will play the main part (Mair), and playing the part of the mother will be Rhian Morgan. Completing the cast are three actors from Brittany; Loeiza Beauvir, Steeve Brudey and Mai Lincoln.
Lleuwen Steffan is originally from Rhiwlas near Bangor. In parallel with her character in the play, Lleuwen Steffan moved to Brittany and is fluent in both languages. She is known for her fusions of jazz and Welsh folk and has won Liet International for one of her Breton language songs, Ar Gouloù Bev.
Rhian Morgan returns to working for the company following her part as Eileen Beasley in ‘Dyled Eileen’, and being awarded with the prize for the ‘Best Welsh Actress’ in the Wales Theatre Awards 2014.
The play, which is based on original work by Owen Martell and Aziliz Bourges, is a multilingual piece and will be performed in Welsh, Breton and French. The directors are Thomas Cloarec (Teatr Piba) and Sara Lloyd (Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru), and the cast will include actors from Wales and France. Merch yr Eog will open at the Aberystwyth Arts Centre on 5 October 2016. This is the first time that Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru has co-produced with a company from abroad on a project that will tour internationally.
Sara Lloyd, Associate Director with Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru, and one of the Directors of Merch yr Eog, said:
“This is a very exciting project to be a part of, breaking new boundaries for us as a company and taking our audiences to new territory. The development phase has spanned about three years, with the play being developed in both Wales and Brittany. This shared experience with our Bretton cousins has been a journey of discovery, culturally, linguistically and also in terms of theatrical tradition. The play will be performed in three languages, which will be challenging, but hugely exciting.”
Audiences will be required to download the Sibrwd app in order to be able to follow the elements of the play performed in which ever language they do not speak (be that Welsh, Breton or French). Until now, Sibrwd has been used for the company’s non-Welsh-speaking audiences only, and this is a significant step forward in the use of this innovative piece of technology. The whole play can also be enjoyed in English by way of Sibrwd.
Arwel Gruffydd, Artistic Director of Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru, said:
“This innovative production is the result of years of discussion and exchanging ideas with Teatr Piba, who specialise in creating contemporary theatre in the Breton language. Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru are thoroughly excited to be breaking new ground in introducing Sibrwd to our entire audience for the first time. Everyone coming to see the play – in Wales, Plymouth and Brittany – will be following the play on Sibrwd in order to access a translation of the many languages used. Sibrwd will provide translations for speakers of Welsh, Breton, French and English. As it will be a new experience for many of our audiences, detailed instructions will be given in advance, and a team of people will be available at every theatre to help guide members of the audience on how to use Sibrwd.”
Mair is called home to a funeral, and feelings of guilt and responsibility are brought to the surface. She starts to question her values and the happiness she thought she had found in Brittany with her partner Loeiza. All of a sudden, she has never felt so far from West Wales.
But can a friendly neighbour, who brings a strange gift to her door, calm her troubled mind?
Based on original work by Owen Martell and Aziliz Bourgès.
Directors: Sara Lloyd, Thomas Cloarec
Designer: Nadège Renard
Lighting Designer: Ceri James
Video Designer: Louise Rhoades-Brown
Sound Designer: Steve Shehan
Cast includes: Loeiza Beauvir, Steeve Brudey, Mai Lincoln, Rhian Morgan, Lleuwen Steffan
Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru, the Welsh-language national theatre of Wales, reflects the dynamic culture of Wales by creating innovative main stage theatre and ambitious productions in surprising locations and at the heart of our communities.
Teatr Piba is a professional theatre company, based in Brest, Brittany and was founded in 2009. Teatr Piba is a continuation of meetings and collaborations between different artists, such as actors, writers, stage directors, set designer and musicians that have a common interest in the Breton language. Their crossed paths and shared experiences have led to creating a Breton theatre company which is contemporary, innovative and alive.